Ad Astra Review

No ratings yet. Log in to rate.

 

Brad Pitt is Major Roy McBride, a lonesome astronaut in James Gray's stunning space-opera. Ad Astra first premiered at the Venice Film Festival a few weeks ago and left critics shivering with existential chills.

Gray's outer-space epic features space pirates in dune-buggies and flesh-eating monkeys but still manages to leave some audiences feeling empty and dissatisfied.

McBride is a highly accomplished, yet emotionally repressed astronaut tasked with a top-secret mission to save humanity.

Unexplained cosmic rays and electrical surges are threatening life on Earth, and it's thought that McBride's long-lost pioneer father is the source of these disturbances.  Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones) led the promising Lima Project which travelled past the boundaries of the solar system before going off-grid.

"What did he find out there?" asks McBride.

The raw and on-the-nose commentary about the sins of fathers and humanity's isolation within the stars can leave an all-consuming deep-pitted feeling of bleakness as you leave the cinema, leaving you to wonder whether you actually liked the film or not.

Pitt's performance of the compartmentalised protagonist lends a robotic approach to human emotions, yet this trait is what makes him perfect for a mission that would drive most human beings to the brink of despair.

Critics have revered Brad Pitt as of late for his recent performances including his role as Cliff Booth in Tarantino's Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. Might we see some Academy Award nominations?

Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytemea and James Gray treat audiences with demonstrations of their mastered film-making techniques. Ad Astra is beautifully shot on 35mm and provides us with an immersive experience among the stars.

Viewers will be in awe and wonder at the stillness of these breathtakingly spectacular visuals. Max Richter compliments Hoytemea's celestial sequences with his atmospheric score, striking a melody of curiosity and mystery as we venture to find life beyond the stars.

The startling thing about Ad Astra is that it feels familiar, as we explore the commercialisation of space travel and overpriced blankets on a budget 'spaceline'. We begin to realise that the frictions of our home planet has tainted the spectacle that is outer space.

McBride's pessimistic monologue reveals the deterioration of this new world as well as some severe abandonment issues. His whiney narration feels like a diary entry, while hinting at a melancholic yearning for his father.

The film's ending may leave some viewers feeling deflated, and some may even fall asleep within the first half-hour before the film picks up its pace. If you love stunning space sequences and atmospheric soundtracks, then buy a ticket while the movie is still in cinemas.

Ad Astra shouldn't be entirely written off, but audiences should consider the film's thought-provoking themes and social commentary.

Comments

No comments have been made. Please log in to comment.
 

Latest News

AGM 2021: Motion Summary

Motion results summary from RGU:Union's Annual General Meeting for the academic year 2020-2021.

 
Student Elections 2021: Coming soon

Stand up for RGU students - take part in this year's Student Elections!

 
 

Top stories from Radar

Energy price increase set for the UK

Consumer regulator Ofgem has announced that the price cap on energy will increase on 1 April 2021 due to rising wholesale costs and growth in demand.

This means that a typical household on a default energy tariff could expect a bill increase of £96 per year.

This could affect around 11 million homes in England, Wales, and Scotland (Northern Ireland sets its own cap).

The cap for prepayment meter customers will increase by £87 per year, affecting around 4 million households.

 
Heart-felt gifts for every occassion

2021 seems to be another year full of locked down celebrations. However, don’t see this as entirely negative. As with time on our hands, we finally have the chance to make personalised gifts for our loved ones. We’ve compiled a list of heart-felt (affordable) gifts for every occasion.

 
Rio’s new mayor saves native forest

Plans to build a Formula 1 circuit in a Rio De Janeiro forest have been discarded, following criticism from environmentalists.

The Deodoro circuit, scheduled to be built on a former army base in Camboata Forest, would have required felling thousands of trees.

The Brazilian former military base served as a competition venue during the 2016 Olympics and plans to repurpose it have caused controversy locally.

 
The Serpent - Review

Cunning and calculating, murderer Charles Sobhraj makes for an intriguing antagonist in BBC One’s new crime thriller, The Serpent.